So, as I mentioned in my Menu Plan this week, I did a once a month cook. It happened yesterday.
All of my past freezer cooking has primarily been breakfast items. Simply because that is what I’m comfortable with. But, I did branch out and do a few more things this time.
Crockpot Brown Rice
The first thing I did was start my brown rice. This is the simplest thing to do and I mention it whenever I have a chance to speak about savings and couponing. It saves time and money since you aren’t purchasing the more expensive Minute Rice varieties. You just need a 2 bag of grain rice and you:
- Spray the crockpot with cooking spray
- Empty the rice into the crockpot
- Cover the rice with water or chicken stock. Add about another inch of water to ensure it’s really covered
- Add 3 chicken bouillion cubes (if you don’t use chicken stock)
- Add 4 tbsp (or possibly more if you want) of butter – I used an entire stick and it tasted awesome!
Cook on high for about 3-4 hours. You need to watch it near the last hour depending on how fast your crockpot cooks. This turns to mush if you overcook it.
When the rice is cooled, separate into freezer bags. When you are ready to cook, just let it thaw and stick it in the microwave with a tbsp of butter (to moisten it) and you’re good to go! This saves SO much time and quite a bit of money considering a bag of uncooked rice is around $1.50 and we get about 3-4 side dishes with the one bag.
Banana Sour Cream Muffins
I started with the Banana Sour Cream Muffins, but I used pumpkin instead of bananas. They didn’t come out with a strong flavor, but they were good enough for me! I’m hoping T (our oldest) will eat these since he’s been loving pumpkin this season.
Andon was a HUGE help, as you can see :) He really wanted to help so I let him stir the sugar and cinnamon together. Then he ate half of it. He looks disappointed in the picture – he was caught!
Mac & Chicken Bake
Have you ever been to Rock Bottom Brewery? Well, they have the . BEST Macaroni & Chicken Bake. I’m hoping this tastes like it. I did taste a little bit and it was pretty good! You can find the recipe over at Once A Month Mom.
I altered the recipe a bit before I froze it. I simply left out the top layer of cheese and breadcrumbs. My freezer bag noted the cooking time and temperature and a reminder to add those two things before baking.
I may be the only one who rarely uses onions. I use them so little, in fact, that when I do purchase onions, they go bad. So, I had a bag ready to go bad and I decided I was going to freeze them to use in recipes. I used my new food processor (or new-to-me) that $5 Dinner Mom gave me and I got to pulsing.
Well, I pulsed too much or I chose the wrong setting because I got onion mush! But, it tasted fine since I had to sautee it for the Chicken & Macaroni Bake. So, I salvaged the mush and flash-froze piles of mush. Once they were frozen, I stuck the little piles in a bag. It will taste the same and I’ll actually have the perfect portion already ready to go!
That might be the most frugal I got all week!
So, that’s all I did! Compared to some of the other ladies cooking today, I am a slacker! But, I did do a few extra things for those days when I’m mentally drained and want to call for Domino’s :)
You can find a list of everyone participating in this monthly cook at Life as Mom and Money Saving Mom! People are linking up recipes, cooking pictures and their end result of a hard day’s work! It’s fun to get inspired and find new recipes too! This seems to be a reoccurring virtual gathering of cooks. Definitely join in next time!